United Racking Beam Deflection

Pallet Racking Beam Deflection

What is “Pallet Racking Beam Deflection”

Beam Deflection in Pallet Racking is the term used to describe the bending or bowing of a pallet racking beam. This can be while there is no load on the beam, or when the beam is fully loaded.

There are two kinds of Beam Deflection, Horizontal and Vertical. Horizontal Beam Deflection is how much the beam bows in or out whereas Vertical Beam Deflection is how much the beam bows or bends down.

 

Horizontal Beam Deflection (HBD)

The technical equation for working out your HBD is (Span / 500). The means you take the maximum span length of the beam (not the overall length) and divide it by 500. This will give you how much horizontal deflection the beam can have before it is unsafe. If you have a beam that is outside the permissible HBD it is important that the beam is replaced immediately.

Here is an example so you can see how easy it is to work out your HBD

  • Beam Span Length: 2600mm (this is the important measurement)
  • The Equation: 2600mm dived by 500 = 5.2mm

This means the beam is permitted to have a HBD of up to 5.2mm

 

Vertical Beam Deflection (VBD) of a “Loaded Beam”

The technical equation for working our your VBD of a loaded beam is (Span / 180). This means you take the maximum span length of the beam (not the overall length) and divide it by 180. This will give you how much vertical defection the beam can have before it is unsafe. If you have a beam that is outside the permissible VBD it is important that the beam is replaced immediately.

Here is an example so you can see how easy it is to work out your VBD of a loaded beam

  • Overall Beam Length 2700mm (you don’t need this measurement)
  • Beam Span Length: 2600mm (this is the important measurement)
  • The Equation: 2600mm dived by 180 = 14.44mm

This means the loaded beam is permitted to have a HBD of up to 14.44mm

 

Vertical Beam Deflection (VBD) of an “Un-Loaded Beam”

The technical equation for working our your VBD of an unloaded beam is (Span / 800). This means you take the maximum span length of the beam (not the overall length) and divide it by 800. This will give you how much vertical defection the beam can have before it is unsafe. If you have a beam that is outside the permissible VBD it is important that the beam is replaced immediately.

Here is an example so you can see how easy it is to work out your VBD of an unloaded beam.

  • Overall Beam Length 2700mm (you don’t need this measurement)
  • Beam Span Length: 2600mm (this is the important measurement)
  • The Equation: 2600mm dived by 800 = 3.25mm

This means the unloaded beam is permitted to have a HBD of up to 3.25mm

 

Measuring Beam Deflection

Its pretty easy to measure Beam Deflection and below outlines a simple method, but if you are unsure please give a United Racking representative a call and we can guide you through it, or if you prefer we could do it for you as part of a Pallet Racking Safety Inspection.

  • Attach a string line along the top or bottom of your beam from one side to the other. Make sure it is right on the ends of the span and the string is nice and tight.
  • If there is any beam defection you will se a gap between the beam and the string line. This is the important measurement required for working out the deflection.  

 

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